A group of community activists, immigration advocates, and religious leaders joined together to denounce the arrests of almost 700 undocumented immigrants at seven locations around central Mississippi.
Speaker after speaker addressed the media, each expressing outrage, particularly over the temporary separation of children from their parents.
“There are people going to bed tonight wondering if they will ever see their family. Do not let this pass, God is waiting on us (to act),” said Rev. Justin McCleary.
The crowd met at the Masonic Lodge on Lynch Street, a longtime sanctuary for organizers during the Civil Rights Movement. Many, like Robbie Luckett with the Margaret Walker Alexander Center, referenced that time during America’s history.
“We are in a constant state in this country for the survival of our soul. The Civil Rights movement never ended, we are still in it,” said Luckett.
The interfaith community showed up, the heads of several different denominations, directors of legal advocacy centers, the NAACP, the ACLU, and longtime civil rights advocates. MIRA Director Bill Chandler says a hotline number is available for assistance.
But despite the large crowd and promises of solidarity, no one offered a plan of action or next steps in the face of these raids.
According to Homeland Security, three hundred and three were released and three hundred and thirty-seven have been transported to detention centers in Louisiana and Natchez.
Advocates say if you or someone you know needs help please call the Southeast Immigrants Rights hotline at 978-993-3300. A conference call with Homeland Security officials confirmed the people who were detained and then released will not be allowed to return to their workplace. If you would like to donate funds or supplies to help families in the area contact YourMira.org
The Mississippi Immigrants’ Rights Alliance will hold a news conference today at 2 pm regarding ICE raids conducted at seven Mississippi processing plants.
Along with a broad coalition of organizations including the ACLU of Mississippi and the United Food and Commercial Workers, MIRA will discuss the aftermath of the raid.
According to Executive Director Bill Chandler, the group is concerned about the safety of hundreds of immigrant families and young children.
12 News and Alex Love are there and will have a full report.